As more of daily life becomes digitized (or at least digitally integrated), the more commerce moves online, and the more IoT and 5G access are widely available, the supremacy of the app becomes increasingly undeniable.

How to Build an App: A Guide for Beginners

With all of that comes a near limitless potential for app development, and the modern programs and platforms available to create all manner of applications means app development is now more accessible than ever. Below is a basic guide to app building for beginners.

Idea Generation

Whether you are an expert developer with dozens of apps under your belt or trying to approach the process for the first time, everything hinges on an idea. All successful apps satisfy a want or a need. It could be a consumer need, a human need, or a business one. It could complement existing hardware or software or be completely stand-alone.

The best way to generate viable ideas is to spend a lot of time on brainstorming. Create mind maps. List out the features you plan on including. Run your ideas by trusted friends and family and request genuine feedback and constructive criticism. App creators are often blinded by the inadequate and unnecessary features of their creations because they are too close to them.

Determine and Learn the Necessary Programming Language

Add development is done using a variety of different programming languages. These include JavaScript, Swift, PHP, Python, C++, Kotlin and others.

If you are creating an app for Apple hardware, you will need to learn the basics of the very simple Swift language. Swift syntax is meant to be intuitive and easy to get the hang of. If you are writing apps for Android, then you will need to learn Java. These are the two most common programming languages for app development.

Always Regression Test

Your first iteration is almost never your last one. The road to a completed app can be fraught with failures, start-overs and a lot of reworking. Even once you think you have got a finished product in your hands, you may quickly realize that you need or want to substantially change a major chunk of code.

It is important to keep in mind that any time you make coding changes to your application that you must to follow up with regression testing to make sure you have not negatively impacted any of the app’s existing features. Regression testing is the act of taking all or some of your previous test cases and then re-executing them to determine whether your new changes integrate without issue.

Decide on How You Would Like to Sell and Market it

Most first-time and beginner app creators have fairly limited options when it comes to selling their products. If you are an unproven beginner in any field, your services are rarely going to command a lot of money. No one knows who you are, so don’t expect a lineup of eager buyers.

What you can do, however, is create a website to market the app and list it in the major marketplaces like the Play Store and the App Store. You might want to make it free at first while you generate some buzz and collect user reviews. There is a wide range of marketing and promotional options out there to help you get eyes on your creation.


A staggering number of new apps are created every day. Many of them will never catch on because they don’t address or solve a want or need. Many are sloppily designed and fail to take off because other apps do what they do better. But a well-made, targeted app can change the world. You might not create it on your first try, but everyone starts at the beginning.

Keep the above app guide for beginners in mind and start your app development journey off on the right foot.

iLounge author Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.